Biography celebrates life of Fred Sanger

A new biography of double Nobel prizewinning scientist Dr Fred Sanger is being launched today.

The first complete biography of two-time Nobel Prize winner and Honorary Fellow of St John’s, Dr Fred Sanger, is to be launched today by Cambridge University Press.

Considered the “father of genomics”, Dr Sanger paved the way for the modern revolution in our understanding of biology. His pioneering methods for sequencing proteins including RNA and DNA earned him two Nobel Prizes. He is one of only four scientists to have achieved this distinction, and the only one to have won the Prize twice for Chemistry.

Fred Sanger – Double Nobel Laureate: A Biography, by George Brownlee, published by Cambridge University Press, is the first complete biography of Dr Sanger, who died in November 2013 at the age of 95. The book traces Sanger’s life, from his childhood in rural Gloucestershire and his undergraduate studies in Natural Sciences at St John’s in the 1930s, to his retirement in 1983 from the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

Along the way, Brownlee highlights the remarkable extent of Sanger’s scientific achievements and provides a detailed portrait of the humble, modest man behind them. Including a transcript of a previously unseen interview with Dr Sanger, the biography also considers the wider legacy of his work and his impact on the Human Genome Project and beyond.

The biography will be officially launched with an event at the Cambridge University Press bookshop on Trinity Street this evening (Friday 5 December) at 6:00pm. The author will be present to discuss the book, and there will be a wine reception afterwards.

For more information, please email Fran Robinson at or telephone 01223 325781.